tv Implementation of the Refugee Act of 1980 CSPAN July 27, 2019 4:59pm-6:01pm EDT
only i am left. are innocentabies victims of these air raids. america has systematically hospitals. in the south in particular, they and bombed all provincial and -- hospitals. former the site of the tuberculosis hospital. some 50 buildings here. all are now destroyed. 30 people, including five doctors, were killed, and many others wounded. >> you can watch the entire testimony of truth, sunday at 4 p.m. eastern on reel america. you're watching american history tv.
1980, president jimmy jimmy signed the refugee act, annual ceiling for refugees allowed in america. the act also created a process for addressing refugee emergencies and established the state department's office of refugee resettlement. next, on american history tv, former government officials who the acto implement discuss challenges they faced with refugee admissions. of public opinion, and lessons learned in light of current refugee policy. the jimmy carter presidential library and museum and the assistance organization, hias, hosted this event. [indistinct conversation] >> welcome. welcome back, everyone. introduce the next panel, which is going to focus implementation of the
refugee act of 1980. is moderating that panel eric schwartz, former assistant state forof population refugees and under the obama administration. he was senior advisor for affairs during the clinton administration on the national security council and most importantly, he is on the highest board. he also happens to be the refugees of international, and he's seated oft to the ex-president refugees international. so, eric? >> thanks. thank you, mark. really is a distinct pleasure to be here today. to thank hias and the carter center for bringing us for this very important event. and needless to say, this is a time for us to be
considering not only the refugee 1980 but also the very inure of refugee protection the united states. and around the world. at a time when the number of displaced by conflict, by byan rights violations, persecution, is at the highest number in recorded history, around the world and in the united states in using nativist appeal toesigned to people's fear and to encourage hostility towards refugees and others who are forced to flee. closing borders and making life more difficult for refugees. this panel and this day-long panelis timely, and our will consider refugee protection ofues in the context
implementation of the refugee act of 1980. and we have three highly panelists.ed it's an added benefit for me are friends of mine, with whom i've worked over a variety of projects. david martin, who will be our first presenter, is a immigration,ar in constitutional and international law, and he is one of the foremost authorities on immigration law and policy. immigrationto shape and refugee policy while serving in several key u.s. government posts. while at the state department, legal deeply involved in and policy developments relating to the refugee act of 1980. of today's discussion. he also held senior positions in departments of justice and homeland security. inplayed major roles administrative and statutory
asylum,ents related to during the decade of the 1990's and during the obama administration, he was deeply engaged in administration reforms relating to immigration enforcement priorities as well a range of immigration issues. ambassadorspeaker, amanda frank lloyd, has had many businessman and nonprofit executive, as an attorney focusing on a range of from environmental issues to economic affairs, to international humanitarianism and refugees and beyond. to list all of frank's jobs. 1980 toll say that from 1981, he was director of the state department's bureau of refugee programs and with the personal rank of ambassador, and deeply involved in the
issues we're considering today. 2001, he served undersecretary of state for global affairs, giving him responsibilities that included overseeing the work of bureau.e department's the successor bureau to the bureau that he's directed during the carter administration. final speaker is a former american diplomat, who spent of his career overseas in autheast asia, he is legendary refugee advocate. the northe midst of vietnamese takeover of vietnam, he was frustrated at the slow of u.s. efforts to rescue vietnamese who had worked with government, he and a colleague made an unauthorized secure vietnam to help the rescue of some 200
individuals. as refugeeed coordinator at the u.s. embassy the carter during keynistration and played a role, as well as in protection and assistance efforts of thegees remaining in region. 2001, he to -- 1990 to served as president of refugees thernational, establishing organization as a critical ally of vulnerable populations around world. and it is a high honor for me to serve as the current steward of an organization that lionel put on the map. lionel's legacy of service and impact is an inspiration to refugees international. so our topic today, implementation of the refugee act of 1980, could cover a multitude of issues. panelists tod our
consider in no particular order the following questions. first, what were the 1980tations around the refugee act with respect to both admissions and asylum? second, how did reality interfere? both with respect to the cuban eventsand other requiring a response to protection needs that went contours or at least stretched the contours of the 1980.e act of third, how would you overallrize and assess implementation of the u.s. refugee admissions program over the years? finally, based on your observations, of each of these questions, what lessons can we draw and bring to bear on current policy challenges? each panelist will speak for minutes.en we'll then move to questions
from the audience. and rather than offer my own on these issues now, i will assume the andrator's prerogative perhaps ask one or two preliminary questions. me inh that, please join welcoming david martin. [applause] much.nks very it's a pleasure for me to be here. i want to say a special thanks for puttingto hias this together. and also, say a special word of tribute to president carter. i do wish he were here. on humans emphasis rights policy as a candidate and then in the early part of his inspired me to go to the state department to bureau.the human rights i didn't really know that refugees were part of the package at the time that i signed up for it. was a small refugee office. this is 1978, in the human bureau.
and -- but by the time i flow -- the boat flow was enormous and i got shapedinto that and it my career. and i felt very happy to have on opportunity to work both human rights policy and refugee policy. a few simplewith truths about the achievements of the refugee act. and then introduce a few complexities that became with implementation. and i want to say, first of all, the refugee act did achieve a very solidly, in ways that we don't think about very much anymore because they're just not points of controversy. the refugee act did accomplish primary aims. and i really want to say that. becauseto say that, there's so much cynicism about the effectiveness of government and legislation. and this is generally overall quite a success story and we need to say that.
now, to appreciate what i'm oneng, i want to emphasize distinction that oftentimes gets lost. with,fugee act dealt quote, refugees in two situations that are related but they really have very different dynamics. one is the overseas refugee program, selecting people in refugeesually camps, bringing them here after processing. and that was the main focus at time, because that was the crying issue, particularly in southeast asia. is asylum.one obviously involving people who own. get here on their it poses more challenging settings.n a lot of and it didn't receive top billing or major focus. the central focus initially. but it's important to keep those separate, although there's some overlaps, because in analyzing about that, the supreme court failed to do that in a very important
called stevi vs. ins, which interpreting the refugee act position to set a more demanding standard than and when people are applying for asylum and they thely misquoted some of legislative history that went clearly to overseas refugees. applied to asylum in reaching that decision. and i greatly regret that that happened. that's part of our framework now. anyway, there are four things that the refugee act achieved. first of all, it set the framework and procedures for and timely decisions on resettlement and admissions. replaced conditional intro and patrol which -- all thewhich for reasons we are hearing about, presented their own problems. forreserved a role congress. the last panel mentioned some providingut that, by a very structured consultation process with a demand for certain, very specific kinds of
information that are extremely important for anybody trying to and understand the refugee program, those annual documents.n but it did not give congress a specific voting role. it left that power with the which thank goodness, largely avoids deadlock that we would have. ofdidn't see the sort political climate we have now, but i'm glad we have it that way. the that puts the power in president. can he do it badly? yes, we have evidence. recent evidence. [laughter] >> but legal design can take us far.so and i'm reminded of a comment james beaude about was widely regard, at least until recently, as the had. president we senator john sherman says the constitution provides for every accidental contingency, except for a vacancy in the mind of a president. [laughter]
>> second, the act provided a framework for helping resettle replaced a lot of special legislation that had specific programs for this group expiration dates that had to get extended. it did it on a more abstract basis that applies broadly. and the assistance arrangement ngo's and the role of engages the state. the statuteylum, provided clear authority to offer asylum both to people the united states and people at the border, excludable well as deportable aliens, as the old terminology used to have it. clearly changed over to the use of the u.n. definition of refugee. a lot of sense in the asylum area. it's been more problematic in the overseas program. more importantly, with regard to asylum, point number four, it provided a clear status for
well as refugees, known as asylum and refugee. before that, people got documents of various kind that mainly said parole. and if you're not a refugee, if not into immigration law, you look at a card that says on parole, you think of the criminal justice system. it didn't clarify. voluntary departure. it provided clear statuses and a direct mechanism, authorization method for them to become lawful residents. were significant changes. mostly they're routine now. it's significant for those reasons. popular andact was celebrated and that lasted about four, five weeks, until the boat lift. as has been also mentioned. reallyple were disillusioned, because they said, wait a minute -- i opember seeing some of those
eds. wait. we just passed a new refugee act. why doesn't that solve the problem? it turns out there is no magic all of this. there's no magic bullet to address situations when people come in very large numbers without advance notice or planning. refugee issues are complicated. response is not easy or straightforward. rife with sudden emergencies that pose big logistical and operational challenges. and the whole business of protection gets entangled with politics, both international and domestic. so the boat lift caused that problem after a few weeks of not figuring out how to deal with it, sending mixed signals response.u.s. eventually it became clear that the boat flow had to be stopped. to the decision was made stop the southbound flow, using various kinds of maritime authorities.
all the boats down there were gonna be able to come back with the people that they had on board. but finally, it began to look like a finite problem and it people said, to 125,000 people coming. meantime, the challenges of and accommodation upon arrival for substantial. a lot of people were housed processing atary the park, moved to the orange bowl. various kinds of contrived tents. they were living outside. that sounds a bit like some things we've seen recently, along here or in mexico, the southwest border. eventually many people were sent to military bases, especially fort chaffee in arkansas. a negative political impact. a young, progressive arkansas governor was defeated for re-election in 1980. been attributed to backlash against the refugees at fort chaffee. clinton.bill he ran six times for governor,
thefive out of six, by anti-immigrant candidate defeated him that one time. perhaps that boat lift had a role in president carter's loss 1980 election. any any event, it's not so much the numbers that pose the problem. carter's vietnam initiatives, to settle a lot of people there, readily.pted much more it's the perception of lost control that provides red meat anti-refugee or anti-immigrant candidates. and we really have to pay that.ion to we've seen that kind of reaction in europe, since the large movements of 2015 to 2016, the so-called merkel million as i've heard it called sometimes. backlash that gets rolling in lostnse to perceptions of control leads not only to bad quitee policy but, dangerously, it also leads to
the growing strength of openly authoritarian problems. a key example. now, that really poses the today's challenge to refugee and asylum policy. we are really facing an enormous dilemma. it's somewhat hard to be optimistic. figures, to put it in context, in 1950-51, when the key international refugee instruments were being draft, 2.5d population was about billion. in 1980, when the refugee act 4.5passed, it was about billion. in 2020, the population, world is expected to be 7.5 billion, triple the level at 1950 convention. there are going to be more people on the move, communications and transport are easier. now today we are getting the mariel boat lift
total each month, along the signwest border, with no of a significant end point. the coast guard can't be deployed to deal with this even to.ou wanted so i think we're at a very critical time and i worry that gonna tip, to be crucial in the election. i come -- one last word. i come to the mexico agreement recently announced with great wariness. i do hope -- it's not clear whether that's going to be the case -- i hope there will be more, something in there that will really focus on they want, aays major aid and assistance program in central america. there are ways that that can work. so-called martial plan for that area. that's a critical component and clearly the u.s. administration has no interest in that. they've gone in the other direction. but in addition to that, some in flow would ease logistical sheer challenges that are not fully appreciated along the southwest border. for governments and especially
done a's, who have heroic job meeting people at the bus station when they get off by dhs to help them move forward. so maybe some slowdown would ofp reduce the effectiveness anti-immigrant or anti-refugee help hold us for a long-term and sustainable support for refugee protection. we have a long way to go. we have a real challenge today. thank you. [applause] >> so this panel deals with the notementation of the act, its justification or its origins. important tot's that you can write an act that sounds pretty damn
pretty good on paper, but when you try to implement have a hardoing to time. and let me just talk a little implementation problems that we faced the passage ofer the 1980 act. want to be clear. i think president carter's decision to push for that act was a hugelyent it important humanitarian decision. and he deserves every bit of the credit that we've heard here today. that said, we have to be that thatand say doesn't solve all the problems. and in fact it creates some. some of thebout ones that we in the state department bureau of refugee faced in the immediate
the passage of that act. the first thing was vietnam. hugen vietnam, we had a moral imperative to act, protect vietnamese that had been working with us, withelped us, had sided him, and were in the kind of difficulty you can imagine after we pulled out. were using the act to vietnamese who were eligible under the terms of the act. and what we found is that -- we interviewed in the field, we interviewed boat people and crossed borders. but what we found was that the storiesall sounded exactly the same.
was pretty clear that path of responses tot went from applicant one applicant two to applicant 25. so the actual identification a persons who have well-justified fear by reason of so forth.gion and after a while, you realize it's who had hard to tell that well-justified fear and who doesn't. recognize that that's gonna be with us as long like that,standards written into the law, and we should. means that you're going to have to make some very tough decisions. be some of those may negative and with consequences to the individual. that, you don't do are likely to be overwhelmed
applicants for status under the act that have questionable validity. point.'s the first the second point that we've dealt with, and the difficulty act, wasstering the the number of applicants and our ability to bring to the united under the law, certain number. but what do you do with the others? a lot of timet countries, hong kong, thailand, malaysia, singapore. trying to -- and with some but notable success total success and not quick theess, trying to get country involved to accept some for statusicants that we had interviewed and
found them credible, but we had numbers problems in the united for usthat made it hard to take all of them into the united states. so one of the things it seems to me, a national refugee policy on the u.s., isn't going to cut it. you need to have similar and similar policies in other countries, because you're going to need them as places where refugees can go if the unitedcome to states. second problem -- i don't want to sound all that negative but is to identify problems that are going to have to be resolved. one of them was involved in cambodia. the pol pot regime was so
irrational. the cambodian authorities were theyrational in whom that youd as enemies couldn't identify this person as having a well-founded fear of going back by reason of their their statusy or or their religion, because that wasn't the test. been whethert have you wore glasses or not. so that all of a sudden, the that we used in that not applicable. again, you probably won't have happen very often, but you did have it happen in the case and it was quite a difficult problem to resolve. mariel boatof the lift, that was, of course, in dramatic, because it was right on our shores. right in president
carter's office that decisions had to be made. the only time i ever dealt with the president was -- it was numerous times during those days of the mariel boat lift -- where how dostion was, well, we make these investigative determinations as to whether people areo these and why they should be admitted to the united states? so the ideal is you do that on shore,y come because their status then changes to a totally different they're an asylum applicant than before. but in order to -- and you would like to identify legitimate refugees before they you can in some way
have some control of the flow. but in order to do that, you would have had to make these determinations at sea. fact, president carter's first thought was that we would that. investigations by intercepting boats, talking to people, finding out who they are. and that lasted about 24, 48 hours. unworkable.y was partly because the numbers involved. because of the risks involved. the risk involved. so we dropped that. and we had the investigations after they arrived. a footnote on the governor who lost his election because in the end, a was, where doen you put all these people while you make these investigations to resettleu try them?
on, when i was undersecretary, in the carter administration -- in the clinton administration, and dealt with the president on the other issues, he would -- every time i walked into the office, he would say, you son of a bitch. you cost me that election. and i said, i don't think i did that. well, where do you think those bumper stickers came cubans, noays "no carter" -- "no clinton." no commies, no cubans, no clinton. [laughter] was all because of fort chaffee, where we placed a lot of them. out whereve to figure to place them. not -- that was a very messy situation, as you can imagine. the very last moment of the
weter administration, learned that the cubans were talking interested in deal about a possible where we would send back certain what we considered undesirables, people who had had records or were in mental -- hospitals and the like. close to 3,000, something like that. try to send those back. would send to us certain undesirables that they called, which were basically thatical troublemakers they wanted to get rid of. and they could have jailed them, jailed, of them were but many of them were under house arrest.
so i sought authority to have those conversations. and the answer is, well, you can talk to them, but you can't talk to them -- it has to be in the u.s. the staten't use department to have those conversations, because we're not -- we don't have that kind relationship and we won't permit that. anyin fact, you can't use public facility for those conversations, if you get them. think they thought we wouldn't ever have them. made some phone calls. we did have those conversations. and we ended up having them in dining room in georgetown. they went on for three and a half days. ended about -- they something like the 10th of january. of january, as the end of the administration.
deal. made a and we initialed an agreement. next day, we met again. and the cubans came back and tos, well, we sent them back havana. i think they'd like to try to deal with the new administration. that actually did happen. that transfer did happen in a form, about a year and a half later or two years later. again, i want to make the toy -- the only point i want make here is that in the administration of these laws, to makegoing compromises and you're gonna make decisions that are a little than clean and a little optimum. and that is the world in which we live. more examples of this. >> we're running short on time, frank. i running over? >> yes. >> i can't believe that!
[laughter] >> all right. no, i can't handle any criticism that point. [laughter] >> so -- no. you want eric on your side at all times. there, andust stop just say that -- i want to be that the aim and the president in putting forth this law and putting forth this standard and forth this very high level of ambition is absolutely necessary. that, you'vehave got nothing. but even if you have that, you have to recognize that the world in which we live is going to down somewhat as you try to administer it. thank you.
[applause] you, eric, and fellow panelists. citing jim start by purcell's book, extraordinary work. the history of anything i was involved with on the refugee front, right from the very beginning. and i commend it to you. he's only giving me a small commission. [laughter] >> i think it's for sale outside. so it really is a bible, a handbook, an incredible good history. that back on the table. >> thank you. i can commend it to you. inanted to start by thanking particular rose lin carter, thecame out to give indochina a great boost. her to probably nine waserent sites and she
indefatigable, in each place refugees. the her commitment was evident from plane.e she got off the our last stop was in bangkok, really the nicest camp that we had. becausewas very upset the soil was muddy. concern,t our great right? we had tens of thousands of people we were trying to get out at this stage. need to take care of this right away. so i picked up the phone and and said get some gravel over here right away. they did. the next day, it was gravel. the kind of commitment we had from the carters. not only was president carter but it was definitely mrs. carter, who earlier on had responded to a refugees international vigil outside the and one of thees legendary actors in the state department, his wife is vietnamese. she engaged mrs. carter in a
pleaseation, saying rescue my people. they're drowning at sea. an order after that went out to p3 aircraft, out of to look forgin refugee boats that were afloat fleets start to pick them up. the commitment of the carters in so many different ways was extraordinary. i thought i would concentrate on unforeseen difficulties that the refugee act gave us. were quite hope with parole actually, in the field. the switch to -- for the cambodian caseload in particular a real watershed moment that months ofleast 18 trench warfare. prior to coming here a couple of days ago, with atis, the inf commissioner that time. who i think was supposed to come down here as well but for health
it.ons couldn't make i read to her some of the assembled, ifi've any of you are interested, of some of the cables that went in that time. what happened was that the ins officers in the field, a guy named jack fortner, in bangkok, and his boss out of the hong kong, used the definition to basically run off the reservation -- not walk off the reservation, run off the reservation. acceptance rate for cambodians dropped from about 90% to about 20%, almost overnight. the challenge for washington this?ow do we deal with because the interviewing officer has the right to make these adjudications. put together country studies. framework ofther a bringing the ins officers back department for briefings. nothing workout. finally, ultimately -- nothing
worked. ultimately, leading into the reagan years, the attorney general went out there. success.n, he had no i have a cable in his pact saying, why is it that after the visit, theneral's rejection rates for cambodians have gone up yet again? we had to go back through the white house, through the justice to correct this matter. i have a little memo in there. sort of the gadfly on the wall, to the nfc, saying we need engage. giuliani or ken starr. thosewere good guys in days, because somebody has got to bring this back together and this on not able to do her own. there were a series of about a the cambodians were applying for refugee status. success was refugee coordinator in bangkok, sent my
old deputy down to supervise all this. mack, who unfortunately died a few months back, claimed he lost pounds in his four months down there, just trying to watch this process and make sure it on track. among other things, doris said what would be self-evident. we don't think the reviewing officer in a case ought to be the same officer who rejected a case. common sense. any trick in the book that they could come up with was applied by i.n.s. sign oft's a leadership, starting with president carter, right on down jim,gh the senior ranks, doris. they just didn't give up. normally you'd just simply have from thisaway problem, move on to something else. was trench warfare, watershed moment that led to not just one decision, but including a national security memorandum, 1983, which is a very hard thing government.gh the an incredibly fete really, which
wouldk both doris and jim say set a better tone for the way the refugee act was after that. you didn't have the kind of wholesale disregard for the applicant that was seen at that time. one of the last instructions was will sit down when you interview the applicant rather standing above him and glowering at him, which is what doing..s. officers was every one of these things had to be corrected. so i don't know where to leave it. maybe one for the carter center, one for hias, one for somebody record of these cables that were required to bring them back on board. mean feat to do that. i guess maybe we're running a little bit out of time. there.eave it just two other remarks. the genevan conference of july, thai for.ompanied the we helped -- foreign minister.
we helped write his remarks on plane. we said, you need to publicly thank the united states for number.you up to this and his first question was, will you be taking enough out of thailand? sir, we'll be doing that. that just shows you, at the howign minister level, important it was to keep asylum going. a mere two months before that, pushed 42,000 khmer refugees down a cliff. today is the anniversary, 40 years ago that happened. on that note.e [applause] >> we have some time for a discussion. thankfully. i'm just going to start by asking two questions to each of panelists. i would ask you to choose which one you want to answer, if you may as answer both you well. i think we've got -- we've probably got about 15 minutes or so. just a little bit of time.
is, how question different are things today? americans disapproved of the -- hungarians in the 50's coming to the united states. didn't wantcans vietnamese to be resettled. 71% of americans didn't want the cubans. and so really, how -- what other principle differences in our -- are things so very different, and so that's my first question. i'm very aware that the person asking the question often spends personme asking than the answering. and -- well, let me start oh. -- let me -- my second question is, how to balance the predictability of
the refugee act with the flexibility that you have to have as a decision maker if you respond to exigent circumstances? lionel? let me just go right across. >> ok. flexibility, no, i don't know that -- maybe we're of using that parole aspect the refugee act than we should perhaps be using it more. mightt quite sure how it be better engaged, because there is this residual ability. how thatnderstood might work. and that might be a fall-back if you're running into i.n.s. future,ties in the where they're just not able to observe the emphasis that we were able to do in the carter and reagan years. not always going to have that same set of players at the very senior level. a lettery there was from a dozen scenarios given to reagan, saying we're still not cambodianwith this issue. i remember, this was done by
hetfield. this was put into the hands of schultz, who was meeting with the president. remember hatfield saying, why are you always giving me a give ton refugees to the president whenever i meet with him? he said, you don't need to open it, senator. just give it to the senator. that finally, finally solved the problem. so i think we need to have that kind of command emphasis. if we don't, we're doomed. but also maybe the parole will helpful in leading some of the more ambiguous situations. pays to remember that the indo-chinese were all sitting today, saying we had an obligation to the vietnamese. vietnam fell,when nobody wanted to take these people at all. cowards, losers, corrupt. a bunch of us younger officers push for anybody to take the parole to congress. 150,000 parole numbers approved in mid-april.
fell on april 30. didn't leave too much time. that doesn't always happen. in a war we're so heavily involved with. called "honorable exit" if any of you want to read monthsut those last six of vietnam and efforts to push the administration into acting when they didn't want to. very interesting. >> frank? >> what i think, interestingly part of theraphy is answer to your question. talking about or even soviet jews, they're distant and there's a sense that there's a possible filter in the form of some process between their decision leave and the united states' obligation or the united states' permit them to have status here. isyou have -- if the notion
across, that sort of goes away and you have the of lostthat you've sort control. and i think the answer is that's answer, but it is certainly a big part of the answer. validity to it. that is, at the rate we're we're gonna examine these applicants for asylum, you know, from now. that are coming today. and in the meantime, they will -- if they're permitted to stay, they will have established a verynd it will be different kind of a process than if it is done outside of the country at the beginning. >> i fully agree with that. i think basically it's a way of restating that the asylum process is just a much more
challenging overall process, at the numbers get high in ways that are beyond the unitedontrol of states. we can -- you know, people may have -- the numbers may have polled negatively in the earlier times on some of the groups that in, through the overseas process, but i don't think that ever led to the level seentensity when we often when people are coming directly to the united states. the governmentk doesn't have a handle on it. so i mean, i think that's part of it. asylum is going to be the -- you know, the area of getting some more keye of control there is a for favorable political developments, i think. respond, though, to the idea about parole, because -- and it's been the earlier some of panels. it.different views of it had been a law, as skip
it had been a kind of iievance from congress that remember encountering early in some of my conversations with staff.ngressional when conditional entry was created, the special provision for refugees,ers and the legislative history said anymorehouldn't be used for those purposes. and then lyndon johnson immediately uses that at the for a veryemony large program of bringing cubans in. so they wrote it into the statute that parole couldn't be ind for refugees, except certain unusual circumstances affecting the individual. parolethen did we use for the mariel boat lift? well, it was a good legal that came across the desks in my office, the general counsel's office. the fact is that we were not paroling these people as refugees. cuban-haitian entrance
status pending. and frankly, what else could you do? you could call them -- make up a word. when 125,000 people come and you're not in any kind of to just block them, make them drown at sea, force back, they're gonna come in. they're gonna be somewhere and they're gonna be in some kind of status. i think that was legally justified. they were not being paroled as refugees. the other long-term solution for the mariel didn't have a problem necessarily for the cubans, seeing them -- the ones who were welcomed, the ones who didn't have a criminal background. seeing them get to the point of card, because we had this special statute from 1965, the cuban adjustment act, that cubans who had been inspected and admitted or paroled could benefit from, after presence
here for one year. that could have been a pretty that.solution for but as was mentioned, finally, haitians was of very much part of the mix in dealing with the mariel boat lift. numbers were lower but the flow had been there for a long time. ofot of litigation, a lot sensitivity, a lot of advocacy about that. it was pretty clear. you couldn't just sort of waive your hand and say -- wave your hand and so, ok, all the cubans are fine and not have anything to do with the haitians. i think special legislation in principle makes sense to address specifics of large scale migration. you can't solve everything in advance with an abstract statute. position not in a good institutionally now to think of legislation. and the parole issue has something to do with applying the refugee -- the u.n. refugee asylum,on, not only in where it may be bound by treaty to do it, but in the overseas
program. but there was a lot of casual talk about, oh, this is going to be so much better because we're getting rid of the old biased provisions that provided peoples resettlement for who fled communist countries or countries in the general area of the middle east. what do we replace them with? the universal u.n. definition. people try to raiseishes. the u.n. definition might not capture everyone we was leavingat train the station. there have been many efforts to try to advocate ways to change it. i wouldn't necessarily go back to paroling refugees but something more to specifically of categories to simplify some of the adjudication. in the overseas refugee program, where you've otherwise got a handle on numbers. onlye asylum program, your handle on numbers is really some sort of strict application of the u.n. definition. asked the question, i
want to offer my own answer to my own question. and let me part company a little bit from stu, who made a distinction between and economic migrants. forcedn't the -- a migrant, someone who is a victim forced migration, which is a majority of some of the people calls refugees and displaced persons, is somebody every goodow, has reason to leave their country of origin. nobody can say to them, you in your country of origin. they are forced out. that fact and the fact that we are going to be confronted varying situations, to me, means that we need flexibility. means legislation that is embedded with or administration, administrative capacity for
courselity, that of leaves aside the politics of this. but now on the politics of this, of americans didn't want the mariel to come to the united states. i would venture that's probably -- you could probably get a similar percentage in terms of, should the trump know,stration, you continue to return people to beico, or detain migrants or harsh on migrants? you'd probably get about maybe -- i don't know. 71%, could be 65%. it could be over 50%. is that i think we are underestimating the critical of political leadership on these issues. you know, when all of the republican members -- i'm not a partisan point, i'm point --descriptive when all of the republican
members of the house voted to thectively shut down refugee program, that was leadership. it was a certain kind of leadership. so to my mind, i'm not saying there aren't large play here.rces at but i think we have to be careful about underestimating the importance of political leaders standing up for the right thing in the face of public opinion, which is uncertain. had the no-nothing the mid-19th century. withd father coughlin anti-semitic rants during the 20th century.the he had tens of millions of followers in the united states. so this notion that we have a tradition of consensus on behalf of diversity, that has at best been a fragile consensus. i think we really have tab diminishing the importance of political leadership on these issues.
close?ave time for -- ok. >> by all means, please, and then we comment will close. ok. with deep apologies. always the last panel that really has to stick to time. none of the earlier ones do. we do. fact, we're less than an hour for this panel. if that's me sounding defensive, be it. lionel and then -- >> i'm going to go with one sentence. your last question was, the future. think we actually had one with the indo-chinese. asyluma country of first situation, mexico in this case. and they're gonna have to do, i thinkately, what needs to be done. the interviews have to be done down there, but they have to be well, with much more attention from well-trained interviewers. have to give the mexican government incentives. we have to involve somebody else to make sure they're protected and cared for. but what we have now is trump doing his terrible thing and the
democrats saying, it's terrible we're notpening and going to get anywhere in this situation. >> frank? >> i made the -- stu made the refugeeson between under the definition of that come formigrants who economic reasons and you question the wisdom of that. >> not the wisdom. the accuracy. >> all right. you question the accuracy. would say that you should be careful in getting rid of that distinction, even though is frequentlyn not as crystal clear as it might be. is numbers.on i think you can persuade that theymore easily welcomingave a very position vis-a-vis people that discriminated against under the test of refugee status.
i don't think you can persuade we can solve the byld's poverty problem bringing people to the united states. >> that's right. >> and i think -- and therefore, from a political point of view from a practical point of view, i think there is merit inble maintaining that distinction, in to keep the door open for what we call today refugees. don't disagree with your comment with respect fleeing poverty. what i'm saying there is a continuum. there are people who are fleeing of violence levels that make their staying in their of origin completely untenable, who might not meet the refugee definition. a fact. how we deal with that fact, i hask, is the subject of -- to be the subject of serious consideration. >> good point. >> because that woman who is fleeing gang violence in
border,, who is at our has no business being returned to her country of origin. thatve to confront reality. what we do with that reality is a different question. >> i mean, i agree with the criticism of the sharp distinction between economic migrants and refugees. spectrum. but it can't -- i mean, we have to bite the bullet and say we yes to everybody who has some level of fear or for other reasons. have to find other kinds of solutions. that weludes things, try to do more in the region, that we alleviate the risk. eliminate the risk. we can't do that through the asylum program. say we can't solve the problem of central american violence to the asylum problem. their conclusion is therefore we nothing. we can do something but we
cannot do everything. we have to figure out a way to people that we are somehow balancing that so we can keep ofve the optimal level support. that's the challenge now. i think we have to recognize we can't solve -- we can't address all fears. we are going to have to say -- some people you have to undertake some risks. and actually, i mean, if our intory collapsed authoritarianism, i would hope some would stay and take a risk to try to address that. that is where i think the realistic situation we're facing 21st century. >> i think it's fair to say we've joined the issue. a reallythink that's good point of departure for this panel. please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] >> we have time for lunch. [applause] >> i agree with that. [indistinct conversation]
watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend, on c-span 3. garyxt on the civil war, gallagher talks about his civil war career and his approach to studying the civil war. peter carmichael, a former graduate student of gallagher's, conducts the interview. good evening, everyone. it's my pleasure to welcome gary the third formerly professor of civil history at the university of virginia. prior to that, he taught for many years at state. you am not going to give long list of his publications. you have written or